EngD in ‘Transport and the Environment’

Start dates: 1 February 2013 and 26 September 2013 

Closing date for applications: 19 August 2013 (extended)

EngD-20 An investigation of the aerodynamics and heat transfer of high pressure flows in integrated gas delivery systems for alternative fuel vehicles (CNG and H2)

For the hydrogen economy to develop, we must solve hydrogen transport, delivery and containment issues which will allow the implementation of hydrogen fuelled vehicles. Hydrogen is potentially a far greener fuel in terms of waste gases although many challenges exist in going over to hydrogen based transportation. One element of this is the hydrogen “fuel tank” where very highly pressurised hydrogen needs not only to be stored safely (to allow reasonable trip distances between refuelling) but also where the safe storage and transport of either highly compressed natural gas or high pressure hydrogen are challenging engineering issues in their own right. We not only need to transport these environmentally friendly fuels safely (in large amounts) we also need to ensure that containment systems are lightweight and yet not unwieldy (hence we want to transport the gas at high pressures). One aspect of such alternative fuel vehicles using pressurised gases is the requirement to develop appropriate pressure vessels, but increasingly integrated gas delivery systems are a major requirement in encouraging the take-up of such systems. A new EngD programme that addresses the challenging issues associated with developing a whole system vehicle gas delivery structure, rather than simply the pressure vessel design is envisaged. Valve and pressure vessel technology needs to be developed to allow rapid re-filling whilst operating safely under high pressure loading. This requires an understanding of high pressure gas flows through complex valve geometries, and the heat transfer which occurs between the gas and vessel (due to isentropic compression of the fluid) during charging of a pressure vessel. The proposed programme will require experimental and computational work of valve and pressure vessel flows, and the development and validation of design tools to facilitate system performance improvements. The requirement to study the conjugate heat transfer between the gas and pressure vessel wall, requires the evaluation of the thermal properties and performance of materials used in current vessel designs. The proposed work thus spans two research groups: aerodynamics and engineering materials.

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If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally please contact Dr Andrew Wheeler, Aerodynamics and Flight Mechanics Research Group, Email: a.wheeler@soton.ac.uk, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 592303.

This EngD project will be funded through the Industry Doctoral Training Centre (IDTC) http://www.southampton.ac.uk/idtc. The studentship comprises support from both EPRSC http://www.epsrc.ac.uk and an industrial sponsor.

To be eligible students need to have UK status or be a European Union (EU) national who has been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for three years prior to the commencement of studies. Enquiries: engd@soton.ac.uk

Computational fluid dynamics, Aero engineering, Mechanical engineering

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